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High court upholds Gachagua’s election

09 September 2013, 15:06 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - High court on Monday dismissed a poll suit challenging the election of Nyeri Governor Nderitu Gachagua.

Judge Justice James Wakiaga said Gachagua was validly elected and the complaints filed by a poll loser Thuo Mathenge were not substantial.

Thuo went to court complaining that in the ballot paper, the names of his running mate were not the ones he had forwarded to the electoral commission.

He named Gachagua, county electoral commission’s returning officer Peter Wanjohi and the electoral commission as the respondents in the suit.

While delivering the ruling, the judge said that Thuo would have benefited from sympathy votes contrary to his claims that electorates voted against him once they learnt of the misprint error.

He said the seat of deputy governor was not an elective position and in reference to Kenya’s politics, voters are well known to the major candidate and his political party than the deputy.

Thuo was running on a SabaSaba Asili party ticket and garnered 48,667 votes while Gachagua on a GNU party ticket got 136,985 votes.

The judge further said that most voters decided on their candidate of choice during campaigns and not on the polling day therefore most electorates in the area had already made their choices before walking to the polling stations.

He further ruled that the misprint error did not substantially affect the outcome of the gubernatorial poll results in the County.

“The error was not substantive and not capable of affecting outcome of the polls," he said and ruled that the electoral commission bear the cost of the petition.

The entire process of election, the judge said, was conducted in accordance with the election principles laid down by the law.

He said according to evidence, the petitioner was complaining of the error in the gazette notice and not a ballot paper.

After the judgment, Gachagua congratulated the judiciary saying it has respected will of the Nyeri people.

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